Chipotle, Micron PTs Cut; Global Payments PT Hiked

Embattled restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) had its price target slashed early Thursday, while Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) also got a price target cut and payment processing firm Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) had its price target raised following a major buyout announcement earlier this week.

On an abbreviated trading day on Wall Street, Telsey Advisory Group lowered its price target on Chipotle to 555 from 575 amid a series of negative incidents at the burrito chain.

On Wednesday, it was reported that a Boston Chipotle restaurant where 136 people were sickened with norovirus is being allowed to reopen.

In addition, Chipotle said it will tweak its cooking methods following an E. coli outbreak that sickened more than 50 customers across the country. Onions will now be dipped in boiling water to kill germs before they’re chopped. Also, raw chicken will be marinated in re-sealable plastic bags instead of bowls, and cilantro will be added to freshly cooked rice so the heat gets rid of microbes in the garnish.

Chipotle shares ended 0.5% lower at 495.10 on thestock market today. The stock is down by about one-third since Oct. 13.

Micron’s price target was cut to 22 from 26 at Argus. That followed several price cuts on Wednesday after Micron reported fiscal Q1 results that were below consensus and guided for a Q2 loss. Also Wednesday, a number of analysts suggested Micron could become a buyout target.

Even so, shares of Micron rose 1.3% Thursday.

Global Payments dipped 0.2% despite having its price target hiked to 66 from 58 at Topeka Capital Markets, which has a hold rating on the stock. On Tuesday, Global Payments said it would buyHeartland Payment Systems (NYSE:HPY) for $4.3 billion in a deal that would create a payment processing and technology giant serving 2.5 million merchants around the world.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) shares fell 0.2% even though its price target was raised to 59 from 56 at Argus, which maintained its buy rating on the stock.

Morgan Stanley terminated its coverage on E-Commerce China Dangdang (NYSE:DANG). The Chinese online retailer rose 1.4%.


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